Movie Mondays: On the occasional Monday, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this edition’s offering:
Book: Fifty Shades Darker by E L James (2011) | Movie: Fifty Shades Darker (2017)
Which did I read/see first? the BOOK
Book Cover | Movie Poster
Series: Fifty Shades
Author: E L James
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Heat Rating: Smokin’ (BDSM: High)
Point of View: First Person, Single
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook
Man, it’s been a long time since I read this novel! But, it’s probably the one I enjoyed reading the most in the trilogy.
Unlike its predecessor, this one has a much stronger plot (aka not just sexy times). We learn more about Christian’s past, we get a suspenseful plot line and plenty of romantic moments.
It’s a solid sequel I think for a series of this nature.
Series Review: Full series review here!
Were My Expectations Met?
I watched the original movie two hours before I saw this in theatres for a little refresher. It reminded me that the first movie had some awful dialogue and not a whole lot going on in terms of plot. So what I wanted from Darker was a more suspenseful plot (given the source material’s suspenseful moments) and for Jamie Dornan as Christian to be not as awkward in the role.
And my expectations were met! I thought this movie was much better than its predecessor. It just seemed a lot more natural in its delivery. There was a touch of (intentional) humour in some scenes which was much appreciated but it was also serious when it needed to be. And for being a two hour movie, it didn’t drag on excessively (and looking back, I’m not sure what you would cut out either).
How Close is it to the Book?
Pretty close actually from what I can remember. It hits all the major highlights of the novel.
I was a little disappointed in one thing which you can read about in the spoiler window below.
One thing I really appreciated about Fifty Shades Darker was Ana’s insistence that they speak to a therapist to work out Christian’s issues; particularly before she accepts his marriage proposal. I just thought it was a nice, realistic touch to the story and one that doesn’t perpetuate the idea that love can heal all on its own. Whereas the movie lacks this idea by never having a therapist scene and makes it seem as if Christian can change who he is by shear will alone.
Did I Like the Cast?
I still think Dakota makes a fabulous Ana. She was so on point with this movie.
And Jamie seemed a lot more comfortable in the role of Christian. I think his dialogue improved because he didn’t seem as ridiculous saying his lines as he did in the first movie. Or maybe they just toned down the cheese in general? Regardless, I liked his acting a lot more in this one.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
I’m excited to see how they are going to handle the last novel, Fifty Shades Freed. It’s got a lot of drama and I can’t wait to see it!
Not only was this book so much better than its predecessor, but it was so much easier to watch on the big screen. I liked the approach the movie took, working with the highlights and making things seem a little more natural and not as forced as the first movie seemed.
Do you agree? Leave a comment below!
Synopsis for Fifty Shades Darker (from Goodreads):
Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven, and demanding Fifty Shades. While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront her anger and envy of the women who came before her and make the most important decision of her life. Erotic, sparkling and suspenseful, Fifty Shades Darker is the irresistibly addictive second part of the Fifty Shades trilogy.